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IWAKUNI, JAPAN MATTHEW C. PERRY ELEMENTARY/HIGH SCHOOL PSC 561 BOX 1874 FPO AP 96310-0027 TELEPHONE: 011-81-6117-53-3447/4673 (ES) 5448/5449 (HS) GRADES: PRE-SCHOOL- 6 560 PUPILS 7-12 250 PUPILS Matthew C. Perry Schools Complex is located on the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in Iwakuni, 600 miles southwest of Tokyo, and 30 miles from Hiroshima on the southern end of Honshu, Japan's Main Island. It is a pleasant, small base situated in an interesting geographical and cultural area. Hiroshima is a very modern city with many historical and cultural aspects. The main elementary facility was completed in spring 1985. A multipurpose room is used for lunch, assemblies, and other presentations, and a new gym was added in 1995. The K through 12 media center includes a fully equipped TV studio allowing for internal broadcasting to all rooms in both the elementary and high school. There are 30 elementary classroom teachers and specialists in the areas of speech therapy, learning impaired, talented and gifted, English as a second language (ESL), reading improvement, compensatory education, media specialist, counselor, and psychologist. There are no teacher supply stores in Japan; bring those items considered necessary for your classroom use. The school provides standard office and classroom supplies. The high school buildings, which were completed in 1987 and 1995, are completely carpeted except for the two science labs and the multipurpose lunchroom. The buildings contain a music room, business, home economics, graphics and photographic darkroom, computer labs, and 15 classrooms. An industrial arts/technology education suite is located in a wing of the elementary school with the gym, art, and ceramics lab. There are 23 classroom teachers, and specialists are available to provide services in the areas of reading improvement, speech therapy, learning disability, talented and gifted, ESL, and compensatory education. The high school also has an information specialist and counselor. Iwakuni is located approximately 3 hours from the international airport in Osaka. Hiroshima airport is available for domestic flights. Both domestic train service and the “shinkansen” (bullet train) service are available for travel to Tokyo and other locations in Japan. A trip to Tokyo on the fastest train takes about 4 ½ hours and costs approximately $300.00. Military support facilities include furnished one-bedroom apartments (BOQ) for single/unaccompanied personnel, and mid-rise apartments or town houses for accompanied personnel. Other facilities include a commissary and exchange, beauty salon, convenience store, video rental store, and stereo equipment sales. MCAS Iwakuni also has a chapel, theater, nine- hole golf course, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pools, gymnasiums, racquetball/handball courts, weight/exercise room, bowling alleys, woodworking shop, and various clubs. Banking facilities include Navy Federal Credit Union and the Community Bank. 2 Medical and dental facilities are limited; however, currently civilians receive routine medical and dental services without difficulty. In cases of serious illness or accidents, patients are sent to Yokosuka, Japan, or other hospitals in the Pacific region. Single/unaccompanied people may live in small, government furnished BOQ apartments. Personal items such as stereos, TVs, VCRs, and microwaves personalize the BOQs. Some married educators live off-base. Houses in Japan tend to be colder in the winter and hotter in the summer because of little or no insulation. Stoves and refrigerators are furnished. Large pieces of furniture should not be shipped, as the homes are small. Portable utility cabinets for kitchenware could be very useful as the homes have little storage space. Off-base electricity is 100 volt, 60 cycle. Transformers required for larger appliances are available locally. There is no central heat; therefore, kerosene, gas, and electric heaters are used. Presently, two trips a year of unfunded environmental and morale leave travel are available to the Department of Defense Dependents Schools families on a space-available basis on military aircraft flying to the United States, Korea, Hawaii, Guam, Alaska, and Okinawa. Commercial trips to other Far East countries are readily scheduled, and such leaves are common during the winter/spring recess breaks. Shipment of POVs that were manufactured in the United States after March 31, 1976, are prohibited due to the very strict environmental restrictions imposed by the Japanese government. As a result, most Americans buy relatively inexpensive and reliable used Japanese cars that are readily available and designed for Japanese style left-side driving. Large American cars are not recommended, and spare parts are often nonexistent and have to be ordered from the States. Off- base driving conditions are often hazardous due to narrow or congested roads, and the traffic laws are strict. All cars must be insured both on-base and at the local Japanese Land Office. Taxes, mandatory insurance, and registration fees cost approximately $500-$700 per year. Japanese pollution codes are very strict and inspections thorough. For example, at the port of entry road worthiness inspection, even relatively new cars, including those originally manufactured in Japan, frequently fail and must undergo expensive modifications and repairs. Assistance in the registration process is available on base. The base exchange garage offers gas at reasonable cost. However, it is possible, but inconvenient, to do without a POV as public transportation in mainland Japan is excellent and efficient, though frequently crowded. Bicycles and motorcycles are also popular forms of transportation. The base Provost Marshal's office must issue a special driver's license for newcomers before they are authorized to drive in Japan. As opposed to the local economy registration system, the on-base vehicle POV registration process is relatively simple. Pets can be shipped by commercial air and MAC flights, however, it is recommended that you not bring pets to Japan because housing that will permit pets is limited both on base and off base. Check with your veterinarian for the correct health forms for your pet. It is cheaper to ship the pet with you, rather than after you have arrived in Japan. Pets with fur are not permitted in the BOQ. 3 The climate is comparable to Georgia or North Carolina, with hot, humid summers (highs in the 90's), and mild winters (lows in the 30's). There are only a couple of days of measurable snowfall, but winter sports are available in the mountains, a 2- to 3-hour drive from the air station. Japan is expensive. New arrivals should have at least $5,000 available to become established in the area.